Masahiro Tanaka took another positive step toward returning to help the Yankees make a run for a playoff berth, facing batters for the first time since he was sidelined six weeks ago with a partially torn right elbow ligament.
The Japanese ace threw 35 pitches in a two-inning simulated game Saturday morning and reported no problems with his elbow.
“I feel it's a little bit still rusty, but there were some good balls that I was able to throw,” Tanaka said through a translator. “I want to keep moving forward.”
The young ace got off to a blazing start after signing a $155 million, seven-year contract in January — New York also paid $20 million to his Japanese team — going 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 18 starts and earning an All-Star nod. But he was placed on the disabled list two days after a rough start July 8.
Gomes goes on 7-day DL
The Indians placed catcher Yan Gomes on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Gomes, hit on the mask Thursday after a pitch deflected off Minnesota's Kurt Suzuki, still was experiencing symptoms after taking part in some light activity Friday and Saturday.
Rays play under protest
Rays manager Joe Maddon protested Saturday's game against the Blue Jays in the fourth inning after the umpires granted Toronto a replay challenge after the next play had begun.
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